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rookie Mountain Lion questions

 
 
*Hemidactylus*
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      05-16-2012, 10:49 PM
I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
Lion? How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?

How much of a PITA would it be to upgrade to Mountain Lion? Will
software I already have installed like Firefox and VLC integrate
seamlessly? Do I go to the bricks and mortar Apple Store to purchase ML
(oh snap I don't have an internal optical drive but do have an external
DVD/CD drive I use to install Linux on netbooks)? Could I buy ML from
the online App Store (or another Apple provided venue) and install it
without an optical drive as an upgrade to Lion? How long after release
should I hold off for any unintended new release oopsies to be remedied
by updates?

Sorry for the Layer 8 ignorance :-)


--
*Hemidactylus*
 
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nospam
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      05-16-2012, 11:01 PM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
*Hemidactylus* <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
> most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
> Lion?


if it has features you need, or there's an app that requires mountain
lion (which at some point there will be), upgrade. otherwise, not much
point unless you want to.

> How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?


historically, apple supports one revision back except in rare
circumstances, such as flashback where apple released an update for
leopard. however, starting with mountain lion, updates are going to be
more frequent, which may affect how far back they go.

> How much of a PITA would it be to upgrade to Mountain Lion? Will
> software I already have installed like Firefox and VLC integrate
> seamlessly?


it's very easy to update os x and nearly everything will work fine. the
few apps that don't will be updated (unless they're abandoned).

> Do I go to the bricks and mortar Apple Store to purchase ML
> (oh snap I don't have an internal optical drive but do have an external
> DVD/CD drive I use to install Linux on netbooks)? Could I buy ML from
> the online App Store (or another Apple provided venue) and install it
> without an optical drive as an upgrade to Lion? How long after release
> should I hold off for any unintended new release oopsies to be remedied
> by updates?


electronic distribution only. you'll download it from the app store and
run the installer.

lion is the first version to do away with dvds, although they do offer
a usb stick, which goes away with mountain lion.
 
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*Hemidactylus*
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      05-16-2012, 11:10 PM
On 05/16/2012 07:01 PM, nospam wrote:
> In article<tK2dnZsX94mesinSnZ2dnUVZ_rednZ2d@giganews. com>,
> *Hemidactylus*<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
>> most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
>> Lion?

>
> if it has features you need, or there's an app that requires mountain
> lion (which at some point there will be), upgrade. otherwise, not much
> point unless you want to.
>
>> How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?

>
> historically, apple supports one revision back except in rare
> circumstances, such as flashback where apple released an update for
> leopard. however, starting with mountain lion, updates are going to be
> more frequent, which may affect how far back they go.
>
>> How much of a PITA would it be to upgrade to Mountain Lion? Will
>> software I already have installed like Firefox and VLC integrate
>> seamlessly?

>
> it's very easy to update os x and nearly everything will work fine. the
> few apps that don't will be updated (unless they're abandoned).
>
>> Do I go to the bricks and mortar Apple Store to purchase ML
>> (oh snap I don't have an internal optical drive but do have an external
>> DVD/CD drive I use to install Linux on netbooks)? Could I buy ML from
>> the online App Store (or another Apple provided venue) and install it
>> without an optical drive as an upgrade to Lion? How long after release
>> should I hold off for any unintended new release oopsies to be remedied
>> by updates?

>
> electronic distribution only. you'll download it from the app store and
> run the installer.
>
> lion is the first version to do away with dvds, although they do offer
> a usb stick, which goes away with mountain lion.


Thanks for the heads up. Doesn't seem that it will be too big a deal. I
wonder how much it will cost.

--
*Hemidactylus*
 
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Leonard Blaisdell
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      05-16-2012, 11:43 PM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
*Hemidactylus* <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
> most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
> Lion? How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?


I have that disorder too. I don't expect much to break in the move to
ML. The big shift was from Snow Leopard to Lion where lots of stuff
broke or needed to be upgraded. I expect Lion to be supported for a few
years. There generally seems to be a fairly ordered progression in OS
version support from Apple.
The newer OS will work better on newer processors with more RAM. Leopard
was a notable exception to the ordered progression. Eventually, if
history is a guide, older processors and older busses just don't cut it
anymore and fall away.
I'm expecting ML to be easy peasy for me using a mid 2011 Mini. I'd be a
little worried with my first Intel Mini if I still had it because of its
500 megabytes of RAM.

leo
 
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Jim Gibson
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      05-17-2012, 12:10 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
*Hemidactylus* <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
> most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
> Lion? How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?
>
> How much of a PITA would it be to upgrade to Mountain Lion? Will
> software I already have installed like Firefox and VLC integrate
> seamlessly? Do I go to the bricks and mortar Apple Store to purchase ML
> (oh snap I don't have an internal optical drive but do have an external
> DVD/CD drive I use to install Linux on netbooks)? Could I buy ML from
> the online App Store (or another Apple provided venue) and install it
> without an optical drive as an upgrade to Lion? How long after release
> should I hold off for any unintended new release oopsies to be remedied
> by updates?
>
> Sorry for the Layer 8 ignorance :-)


Mountain Lion will not be available on DVD. It will only be available as
a download from the App store. Most of your existing software should
work as is (no guarantees, of course).
 
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David Empson
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      05-17-2012, 01:39 AM
*Hemidactylus* <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On 05/16/2012 07:01 PM, nospam wrote:
> > In article<tK2dnZsX94mesinSnZ2dnUVZ_rednZ2d@giganews. com>,
> > *Hemidactylus*<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> >> I have Lion on my Mac Mini. Aside from a compulsive disorder to have the
> >> most up to date OS, how important would it be to upgrade to Mountain
> >> Lion?

> >
> > if it has features you need, or there's an app that requires mountain
> > lion (which at some point there will be), upgrade. otherwise, not much
> > point unless you want to.
> >
> >> How long could I expect Apple to support Lion?

> >
> > historically, apple supports one revision back except in rare
> > circumstances, such as flashback where apple released an update for
> > leopard. however, starting with mountain lion, updates are going to be
> > more frequent, which may affect how far back they go.


Here is a summary of the time frame for the last few versions of Mac OS
X:

10.3 (Panther):

Oct 2003 introduced
Apr 2005 superseded, last minor version update
Jan 2006 last Safari update
Feb 2007 last Java update
Nov 2007 last Security update
Jun 2008 last QuickTime update
Jul 2008 last iTunes release which supports 10.3

10.4 (Tiger):

Apr 2005 introduced
Oct 2007 superseded
Nov 2007 last minor version update (delayed due to bug fixes)
Jun 2009 last Java update
Oct 2009 last Security update
Jul 2010 last iTunes release which supports 10.4
Nov 2010 last Safari update

10.5 (Leopard):

Oct 2007 introduced
Aug 2009 superseded, last minor version update
Jun 2011 last Java and full Security updates
Jul 2011 last Safari and QuickTime updates
Aug 2011 updated Migration assistant for Lion compatibility
May 2012 late Intel-only targetted security updates
Still supported by iTunes

10.6 (Snow Leopard):

Aug 2009 introduced
Jul 2011 superseded
(Don't know any of the cutoffs yet)

10.7 (Lion):

Jul 2011 introduced
(Don't know the Mountain Lion release date or any of the cutoffs yet)

Unless Apple changes their secrecy policies and starts announcing future
plans for software life cycles, we can only tell whether an OS version
is still supported by seeing which updates get released and which ones
don't.

Getting into the speculation realm:

Based on the timelines of 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5, about four years of full
security updates is the usual pattern, which happens to coincide with
the release timing of the second subsequent version of Mac OS X. (The
gap between 10.4 and 10.5 was significantly longer than between any
other two versions, so it got supported for longer.)

If Apple sticks with "security updates for the current and previous OS"
then Snow Leopard would only be getting security updates until about
July or August 2012, which is about three years after it was introduced,
and Lion would only be getting security updates until about July 2013,
two years after it was introduced.

According to net usage stats, Snow Leopard is still being used by
roughly the same number of Macs as Lion, so I think it would be
premature for Apple to stop issuing Snow Leopard security updates as
soon as Mountain Lion is released. If they stuck with the timelines for
earlier systems, Snow Leopard should be getting security updates for
about another year (until about August 2013), but it may be somewhat
less than that.

For Lion, there are some models which will be unable to upgrade to
Mountain Lion, and to give a fair run to those computers stuck on Lion,
Apple should maintain a minimum three year window for Lion security
updates, possibly longer if Lion is still relatively common by mid 2014.

If they stuck with a four year window, then by 2015 Apple would need to
be supplying security updates for four OS versions. Three versions seems
more likely.

If you think of it from the point of view of how far a particular Mac
model can upgrade and then be supported with security updates, the worst
case in recent years was the PowerMac G5 sold until August 2006. It only
got about five years of potential OS upgrades and security updates (June
2011 was the last full security update for Leopard).

For models limited to Snow Leopard, the worst case is a Mac Mini bought
just before the new models were introduced in August 2007. Five years of
OS upgrades and security updates for that model would be August 2012.
Given the relatively high usage of Snow Leopard at this point, I'd hope
that model would get several more months, but probably not a full six
years of potential security updates.

A minimum of five years should apply for models limited to Lion. We
don't know exactly which models Mountain Lion will not be supporting,
but it would be fair to assume it is dropping support for some models.
The most obvious victims would be the late 2006 models which are limited
to 3 GB of RAM and some of which have the seriously limited Intel GMA950
graphics controller. The last such model was the mid 2007 Mac Mini,
which was sold until March 2009.

Five years after that would mean Lion gets security updates until at
least March 2014. That suggests a cutoff about July 2014 would not be
unreasonable, i.e. Lion would get about three years of security updates.

If the support cutoff was similar for later Mac models, then with annual
OS releases, Apple would need to provide ongoing support for three OS
versions at a time, perhaps stretching into four versions if the oldest
supported version was still relatively popular.

> >> How much of a PITA would it be to upgrade to Mountain Lion? Will
> >> software I already have installed like Firefox and VLC integrate
> >> seamlessly?

> >
> > it's very easy to update os x and nearly everything will work fine. the
> > few apps that don't will be updated (unless they're abandoned).


Snow Leopard to Lion was a tricky upgrade due to Apple dropping Rosetta,
which meant that Lion cannot run a lot of older Mac OS X applications
written for the PowerPC processor. There was quite a bit of abandoned
software, costly upgrades, or a need to run a specific version, which is
still preventing some people from upgrading to Lion.

I can't comment on the likelihood of similar issues arising when
upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion, other than the general principle
that if you are running modern applications and they are up to date, you
should be fine.

I've made the transition to Lion this week, and dealt with the question
of old applications by cloning my Snow Leopard system to an external
drive which I can boot on my current computer as needed (but probably
won't be able to use on my next one, so I'll need to hang on to an older
Intel Mac model for a while, or move the Snow Leopard system into a
virtual machine after pruning it somewhat).

I went through a similar issue moving from a PowerPC Mac to an Intel Mac
(running 10.4 at the time), having to leave behind several old
applications which needed the Classic environment (Mac OS 9). I had been
agressively upgrading to Mac OS X native versions of applications where
possible, so I barely needed Classic by then. I still have a couple of
PowerPC Macs able to boot into Mac OS 9, one of which can run up to Mac
OS X 10.5.

With the Lion transition, my main holdout application was Eudora (e-mail
client), and I've switched to Apple Mail in Lion. I have various other
old applications I might need to run occasionally, e.g. at some point
I'll have to convert a bunch of old AppleWorks documents from version 5
or earlier to version 6, so I can import them into Pages/Numbers.

> >> Do I go to the bricks and mortar Apple Store to purchase ML
> >> (oh snap I don't have an internal optical drive but do have an external
> >> DVD/CD drive I use to install Linux on netbooks)? Could I buy ML from
> >> the online App Store (or another Apple provided venue) and install it
> >> without an optical drive as an upgrade to Lion? How long after release
> >> should I hold off for any unintended new release oopsies to be remedied
> >> by updates?

> >
> > electronic distribution only. you'll download it from the app store and
> > run the installer.
> >
> > lion is the first version to do away with dvds, although they do offer
> > a usb stick, which goes away with mountain lion.

>
> Thanks for the heads up. Doesn't seem that it will be too big a deal. I
> wonder how much it will cost.


"Not more than Lion" seems a reasonble assumption. Therefore US$29.99 or
less.

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David Empson
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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nospam
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      05-17-2012, 02:08 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
*Hemidactylus* <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Thanks for the heads up. Doesn't seem that it will be too big a deal. I
> wonder how much it will cost.


it looks like $29 is the new price point.
 
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Paul Sture
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      05-17-2012, 12:48 PM
On Wed, 16 May 2012 19:01:15 -0400, nospam wrote:

> historically, apple supports one revision back except in rare
> circumstances, such as flashback where apple released an update for
> leopard. however, starting with mountain lion, updates are going to be
> more frequent, which may affect how far back they go.


A former member of the VMS Engineering team told me recently that at one
time they tried making releases a yearly event, and it wasn't an easy
thing to achieve. He is wondering whether Apple might run into similar
difficulties.

--
Paul Sture
 
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JF Mezei
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      05-17-2012, 06:28 PM
Paul Sture wrote:

> A former member of the VMS Engineering team told me recently that at one
> time they tried making releases a yearly event, and it wasn't an easy
> thing to achieve. He is wondering whether Apple might run into similar
> difficulties.


But in the case of Apple, a new version every year doesn't imply that it
is really a new version. They can add bells and whistles and lost of
cosmetic changes and call it a new version without having to change
stuff at the kernel level.

They can still have a najor new version every 2-3 years, with minor
updates (called "new versions" from a marketing point of view).

Of course, they'll have to figure out what happens to OS-10 when it has
gotten to 10.9

Will they go hexadecimal and call the next one 10.A ?
 
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nospam
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      05-17-2012, 06:30 PM
In article <4fb5433a$0$17612$c3e8da3$(E-Mail Removed) om>, JF
Mezei <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Of course, they'll have to figure out what happens to OS-10 when it has
> gotten to 10.9
>
> Will they go hexadecimal and call the next one 10.A ?


they had 10.4.11, which suggests they'll call it 10.11.x.
 
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